Legal Aid Ontario’s toll-free “call-back” feature now fully operational

Posted on: Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Wait times will continue to drop dramatically now that the newest feature on Legal Aid Ontario’s toll-free telephone service allows clients to enter their phone number and have a staff member return their call. Clients requiring the assistance of a toll-free client service specialist will hear an interactive voice recording that notifies them of this “call-back” option.

Clients who don’t want to wait on the phone to speak to a specialist can enter their telephone number when prompted, resulting in an automated call back when the next specialist becomes available. Clients do not lose their place in line.

Callers to the toll-free service first speak with representatives who can provide general information and referrals to duty counsel, community legal clinics or other agencies as needed. During the week of November 8, the average wait time for this level of service was two minutes and 51 seconds, with a low of 78 seconds recorded for November 12. Staff at LAO’s toll-free service centre answered more than 5,300 calls that week.

Some callers are connected with a second level of specialists who can take legal aid applications and arrange for the caller to receive summary legal advice from LAO staff. Given the more involved nature of this second level of service, wait times are generally longer than for the first level. In November, wait times for the second level of service averaged around 10 minutes, making the call-back feature a significant enhancement for clients needing these services.